cephalo

Landing gear can't wait for 1.2, needs bandaid.

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I realize that the problems we are having with landing gear are complicated and might require Unity upgrades and whatnot to fix properly, but career mode is greatly diminished by the state of things right now. If it can't be fixed then don't fix it, just make landing gear invincible for now. At least then we can progress through career mode! Pre 1.1 landing gear was nearly invincible and while that's not realistic it was plenty fun.

Most of the early game contracts have to do with flying to some place on Kerbin in a plane, and all you have is this washboard dirt runway and Styrofoam fixed landing gear. So instead you have to put together some absurd rocket/parachute based solution as a work around to an early 1900's problem. It's an horrendous experience, and I don't want to be recommending this game to people just to have them run into this wall of frustration and think there's something wrong with my taste in games! Forget physics calculations, just make them not blow up.

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Landing gear has already been fixed as good as it's gonna be fixed until we get a Unity upgrade that addresses it.  There's only so much you can do with a flawed back-end system, especially when it might be more work for your own team to correct the problem while hours are being put into correcting it by another team.

TL;DR: Be patient or play an earlier version, there's nothing to be done at this time.

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I'm sure you can make parts that can't fail. Just make em super strong.

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Not a problem with that, especially if you play with the suspension settings and learn to land softly (I wondered out loud several times during the pre-release if people were just slamming planes around willy-nilly...)  The problem is really that wheels ars modeled as a "stick" rather than an actual wheel.

And seriously, if the only issue is slamming planes around then just use ModuleManager to up the impact tolerance to ridiculous levels.  Problem solved.

Edited by regex

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40 minutes ago, regex said:

And seriously, if the only issue is slamming planes around then just use ModuleManager to up the impact tolerance to ridiculous levels.  Problem solved.

^ This.  A simple snippet of about three lines of ModuleManager config would fix it right up.

If the OP is contending that "I shouldn't have to mod my game to make them work, they should just be indestructible":  I would disagree with that.  Not everyone is having landing gear problems.  I'm pretty much a fumblethumbs at airplanes myself (I'm mainly a rocket guy), but I can take off and land planes just fine, including on bumpy non-runway surfaces.  Lots of other players I've talked with are also doing just fine.

It's true that I did have a taken-aback moment when "why do my wheels keep exploding whenever I land?" and had trouble figuring it out... until I asked someone about it and got the answer.  Wheels can only take a certain amount of stress, and I was ridiculously overloading mine without realizing it because I didn't get the memo about the stress-loading thing.  As soon as I found out that's what it was, and also that "size matters" and "bigger gear = stronger", I just put bigger gear on the plane.  Problem solved, haven't had the slightest issue with 'em since.

This is not to downplay your difficulties.  I totally get that it must be infuriating to have a situation where you're trying to do something that seems perfectly reasonable to you and the game keeps going off the rails.  Nor am I telling you "it's fine and you're just doing it wrong".  Of course, that's a possibility :wink: ... but I wouldn't presume to assume that.  Different players, different play styles, and all that-- I can easily believe there's some bug case that I'm missing because I happen not to use planes in that situation.

But the fact is... I like the new gear.  I like the fact that I have to use actual engineering when designing a plane, and that it's not just magically indestructible.  I've been flying rockets and dealing with engineering limitations for a couple of years-- planes always felt kinda "coddled" to me, and it bugged me to see folks designing dorky-looking Eve landers that come down for a landing on tiny landing gear instead of legs, because the gear is infinitely strong.  Adding that feature to the game makes that feature richer for me-- and I'd wager for a fair number of other players, too.

If you simply applied a global band-aid to everyone, you'd be taking that game feature away from them.  Some folks would undoubtedly love such a solution (e.g. you, since you proposed it)... others wouldn't (e.g. me).

Thus... a simple patch seems like the answer, if the game's behavior bothers you that much.  A couple of minutes with a text editor and you're done.

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I'm more concerned about what new people think between now and the 6 months it takes for 1.2 to roll out. I know KSP is great, I'm totally sold on that, and yeah, I can mod out my specific problems.

Perhaps once you climb the tech tree, being careful with your landing gear is enough, but seriously, have a look at the first airplane tech and the dirt runway and see if you can make that work at all with the smallest juno powered science plane you can conceive. I don't think this scenario was playtested. Mind you this is the very early game, when new people are still figuring out how to make a plane fly much less land. The contracts for Kerbin really don't pay well enough for elaborate solutions, and this is almost all of the contracts offered at this stage.

I think it's a big mistake to let this continue for a long stretch.

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4 minutes ago, cephalo said:

I'm more concerned about what new people think between now and the 6 months it takes for 1.2 to roll out. I know KSP is great, I'm totally sold on that, and yeah, I can mod out my specific problems.

Perhaps once you climb the tech tree, being careful with your landing gear is enough, but seriously, have a look at the first airplane tech and the dirt runway and see if you can make that work at all with the smallest juno powered science plane you can conceive. I don't think this scenario was playtested. Mind you this is the very early game, when new people are still figuring out how to make a plane fly much less land. The contracts for Kerbin really don't pay well enough for elaborate solutions, and this is almost all of the contracts offered at this stage.

I think it's a big mistake to let this continue for a long stretch.

I think you're seriously underestimating new players. The fact that they can't slam a plane into the ground with a 10m/s vertical speed, or have to move the plane over a few meters is certainly within the grasp of most minds, particularly the kind that pick up KSP. 

Having actually done exactly what you suggested very recently on a career save, I can confirm that the standard Cessna rip off I use for early game airplanes worked just fine, with almost no change in piloting or design. 

Correction: I actually moved the engines slightly, to shift the CoM compared to the forward landing gear.

Edited by LordKael

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2 minutes ago, LordKael said:

Having actually done exactly what you suggested very recently on a career save, I can confirm that the standard Cessna rip off I use for early game airplanes worked just fine, with almost no change in piloting or design. 

I still need to try putting the steerable wheel in the back, but in the front you can't even taxi above 50ms on the dirt runway without collapse. 10m/s vertical speed not required. Landing at less than 1ms doesn't work.

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16 minutes ago, cephalo said:

I still need to try putting the steerable wheel in the back, but in the front you can't even taxi above 50ms on the dirt runway without collapse. 10m/s vertical speed not required. Landing at less than 1ms doesn't work.

You should be lifting off and landing at < 45m/s with the early gear, preferably less.  Add more wing area and adjust landing gear position for take-off, and reduce speed by climbing and diving with the engine off for landing.  You can also use flaps to slow the plane, add drag.

Edited by regex

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Editing configs or module manager may work for some, but not all. I for one am uncomfortable tweaking configs and I do not have mm or ever plan on using mm. So are people like me screwed with out squad just doing something like this? Looks like it.

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33 minutes ago, cephalo said:

can't even taxi above 50ms on the dirt runway without collapse

50m/s is 180km/hr, or a bit over 110 miles/hr for the metrically challenged. I wouldn't want to taxi that fast on a dirt road no matter what wheels I've got underneath me.

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9 minutes ago, AlamoVampire said:

So are people like me screwed with out squad just doing something like this? Looks like it.

What happens when "people like you" find out that Squad are perfectly happy with the wheel tolerances after all the back-end work is done?

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50 minutes ago, AlamoVampire said:

Editing configs or module manager may work for some, but not all. I for one am uncomfortable tweaking configs and I do not have mm or ever plan on using mm. So are people like me screwed with out squad just doing something like this? Looks like it.

Well, it depends. There's the MM solution, as described. It's not clear to me why you object to adding a single three-line config file to your game directory, but if you choose that path, that's your lookout.

Or you could learn to design and fly planes that work in the new rules-- regex gives some good tips.  Rules change sometimes.  Ask anyone who flew a rocket to orbit before 1.0 aero.

If you're not willing to learn to fly with the new rules, and you're also not willing to trivially easily fix the rules to what you would prefer, then yeah, I'd say you're pretty much stuck.

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I think some rebalancing is in order though...

Part ...mass ... impact/stress tolerance ... tolerances/mass/10000

LY-01 Fixed Landing Gear  ...  0.022 ... 1000/2000 ... 4.5/9.0

LY-05 Steerable Landing Gear ... 0.015 ... 1000/2000 ... 6.7/13.3

LY-10 Small Landing Gear ... 0.045 ... 2000/5600 ... 4.4/12.4

LY-35 Medium Landing Gear ... 0.25 ... 3000/9000 ... 1.2/3.6

LY-60 Large Landing Gear ... 0.4 ... 4800/18000 ... 1.2/4.5

LY-99 Extra Large Landing Gear ... 0.6 ... 13000/55000 ... 2.2/9.2

 

I find the medium and large wheels to be too weak... I'm fine with the smallest gears being stronger per unit mass than the larger ones, but the medium and large gears have some pretty bad stats... they aren't nearly as beefy as they look.

IMO the medium landing gear should have at least 4000/12000 impact/stress tolerance, and then its mass should be decreased so that its impact tolerance/stress ratio is at least 2.2.. likewise I would strengthen the large landing gear or reduce the mass to be not so underpowered compared to the extra large.

For only 50% moremass, you get 2.7x the impact tolerance, and 3.0x the stress tolerance. The planes where I use a large landing gear are rare, because I might as well go for an extra large... what's 0.4 more tons on a craft of their size?

When I do you larges, its because I originally wanted something larger than smalls, and going up to mediums doesn't produce more than a 50% increase in tolerance, despite the 5.56x mass increase.

Mediums and larges are too weak. The extra large seems fine though.

I don't use the fixed gear much, but I suspect that they could just use a mass and toelrance increase... the ratios are quite good, but the absolute masses are quite low.

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I haven't really had any problem with the strength of the wheels, only the friction control stuff causing the wheels to bounce and swerve erratically.

The starter set of fixed gear isn't meant for heavy planes, if you build small and light they can easily survive up to like 40m/s landings.

 

As for the friction, I found if I set the friction control to override on all wheels, then set the rear wheels to .3 or .4 and the front wheel to 0 then they are pretty stable.  That is assuming a tricycle gear configuration.

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I think in order to create an enjoyable experience for the new player, you have to get them to the Mun at least before frustrating them to this degree. Remember the flight controls (WASD) are horrendously imprecise. If a -2.5ms vertical speed is too much for landing, tapping the S key is going to send you flying back up at +5 ms. You have to go back and forth to get a good vertical speed for landing.

I would also like to point out that the game was not like this before. You could abuse the landing gear, and it was fun, and the game was a huge success.

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10 hours ago, stibbons said:

50m/s is 180km/hr, or a bit over 110 miles/hr for the metrically challenged. I wouldn't want to taxi that fast on a dirt road no matter what wheels I've got underneath me.

That's about World War I tolerances. A SPAD XIII should be able to handle that on takeoff without catastrophic failure, although they probably did fail on occasion due to a loose tension cable or whatever.

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15 minutes ago, cephalo said:

I think in order to create an enjoyable experience for the new player, you have to get them to the Mun at least before frustrating them to this degree.

In all of my career games I've been to Mun and Minmus before ever touching planes or wheels, because that's pretty much how the tech tree is laid out. 

16 minutes ago, cephalo said:

Remember the flight controls (WASD) are horrendously imprecise. If a -2.5ms vertical speed is too much for landing, tapping the S key is going to send you flying back up at +5 ms. You have to go back and forth to get a good vertical speed for landing.

Press caps lock to toggle precision controls. Makes everything much less twitchy. 

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39 minutes ago, cephalo said:

I think in order to create an enjoyable experience for the new player, you have to get them to the Mun at least before frustrating them to this degree. Remember the flight controls (WASD) are horrendously imprecise. If a -2.5ms vertical speed is too much for landing, tapping the S key is going to send you flying back up at +5 ms. You have to go back and forth to get a good vertical speed for landing.

I would also like to point out that the game was not like this before. You could abuse the landing gear, and it was fun, and the game was a huge success.

If tapping the S key is sending you back up at 5 m/s vertical speed then you have a design problem in your plane, even without the precision controls.

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20 minutes ago, Alshain said:

If tapping the S key is sending you back up at 5 m/s vertical speed then you have a design problem in your plane, even without the precision controls.

I've designed all kinds of planes in this game and landed them on all kinds of planets. Huge planes, small planes, space planes, everything. I think a lot of you guys are making assumptions as to the state of the early landing gear because you haven't changed your designs. I'm wondering if pre-1.1 designs aren't using the new parts?

Seriously, confine yourselves to the first aircraft tree and make a plane that can land on the steerable landing gear. You cannot. Show me a 1.1 design that can do this and I will gladly use it and shut up.

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@cephalo give me a specification:

What range does the plane need to have?
Max number of parts/size?
What experiments do you want/need?
How many seats do you want?

Answer me those and I'll see what I can rustle up.

1 hour ago, FullMetalMachinist said:

In all of my career games I've been to Mun and Minmus before ever touching planes or wheels, because that's pretty much how the tech tree is laid out. 

Funny, in almost all of my games I tend to get atmo-airborne before I even reach orbit. It's not that I lack the ability to do that with the parts I have, it's more that I don't want to go out into space until my space program feels 'ready'. Docking ports are a personal must for any mission that stays up.

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23 minutes ago, cephalo said:

Seriously, confine yourselves to the first aircraft tree and make a plane that can land on the steerable landing gear. You cannot. Show me a 1.1 design that can do this and I will gladly use it and shut up.

Are you talking about the first aircraft research node?  Here are two planes that can take-off and land on the tier 1 runway using only keyboard control.  These planes were built during the pre-release, before the code and tolerances were tweaked for the last update:

 

 

 

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Here are my setting and observations on landing with a 53T SSTO: (Mac OS X)

I use the following steering response and curve in the cfg sheet:

steeringResponse = 4

curve

key = 0 40

key = 5 5

key = 15 1

Rear gears are LY 35 medium landing gears and settings are: Friction 2 - Spring 0.6 - Damper 1 - Brakes 200 - Steering disable

Front gear is also a LY35 medium gear with steering enable: Friction 1.5  Spring 0.6 - Damper 1 - Brakes 150

For what i tried landing on grass near the runway can be done without damage at a vertical speed of 8m/s with no bouncing, no skidding. Just before touch I reduce to iddle and apply full brakes by pressing B, but even with 2 speed brakes and those settings braking run is long.

I notice that on full power with the parking brake set (hit the toggle brake icon on the top center of the screen), the plane is skidding.

Landing on runway with the same settings is done without bouncing, but if you loose steering control the plane skid head to tail and stop quickly......

Steering control is still an issue on landing on runway and is very touchy and landing with no bouncing seems easy with those settings....but landing run seems very long and brakes not so efficient at max settings

Edited by gilflo

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The trick is to trick the plane into thinking you're LANDing. You actually should ditch the plane in the water, always a good option!

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Im really having bad times to understand how people cant take off or land with current gears, smaller fixed ones are fishy but even those are not unplayable.

Im really plane guy and i design planes from 1ton to 200 ton, i just dont get all the fuss.

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